Gay Sydney: Surf & Sizzle
In the popular imagination Australia is blond bodies frolicking on white beaches under blue skies stretching as far as the eye can see. Nicole Kidman and the late, great Heath Ledger spring immediately to mind.
The reality is much different of course--and far more intriguing. Sydney, in particular, has emerged as thriving gay metropolis, with huge Asian and Latino immigrant populations making it one of the most multicultural in the world.
While there are venues throughout the sprawling city of more than four million, gay social life is centered on and around Oxford Street in the Darlinghurst neighborhood in the Eastern 'burbs. It is lined with thriving clubs, restaurants and pubs. It is the main drag for the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in February-March, which draws visitors from around the globe for weeks of nonstop celebration.
Party-break destinations include heavily gay Bondi Beach, where the volleyball is more speedo modeling than sports competition, panoramic Harbour Bridge, colonial history of The Rocks, and the world renowned Sydney opera.